Over the last two weekends I’ve had conversations with multiple people who asked me how it is I came to do what I do. My answer was this: Well, it was inevitable.
I come from a small town where people don’t really dream of Hollywood (in the representative, metaphorical sense of the word). It’s not that people in my hometown discouraged it; but no one encouraged it. Show business was almost like an alien world. When I was 18 I went to college (as you do), got a business degree (because why not), then went on to get a Master’s degree. All that to say, I was on a path to do anything else, and yet, somehow, the arts found me.
I’ve come to call this the “Law of Inevitability.” If you allow yourself to remain open to opportunities and possibilities, and never settle for anything less than what you want, you’ll find what truly drives you. I’ve heard creative virtuoso Jared Leto describe it as being “compelled beyond a reasonable doubt.” That is to say, when it comes to pursuing a life in the arts, it’s almost as though you don’t have a choice.
There was a period of time where I was doing a lot. Whether it was conscious or subconscious (probably a little of both), what I was doing was trying to find my passion. Little by little, fat got trimmed away until I realized not only that acting, writing, performing, etc. is what I’ve wanted all along, but I realized I had wanted to do it since I was a child.
I JUST NEEDED TO GET OUT OF MY OWN WAY.
I’m thankful that I allowed myself time to figure it out. I was offered many opportunities that would have taken me down different paths and I turned them down, usually at the sacrifice of money, job security or life stability. Somehow I knew better. I knew the insecurity was what needed to happen, because I would not settle for less than what I really knew I wanted.
This isn’t meant to be boastful, or to pat myself on the back for “going after my dreams.” (Trust me, I’m well aware that talking about myself and my dreams runs the risk of sounding douche-ily self-involved.) It took me the better part of 30 years to figure out what I wanted… but that’s what it means to be compelled beyond a reasonable doubt.
It’s just inevitable.